So You Are Looking For an Atlanta Small Business Attorney?
Looking for a small business attorney can be a delicate process. You are hiring someone that you need to be able to trust with your secrets, have confidence that their advice will not steer you into trouble, and know that they will bill and treat you fairly. Not always the easiest thing to find, so what is an Atlanta small business to do?
As a small business that deals with a lot of law firms (our legal answering service is a big part of our overall business), we have asked some of our clients how we should go about choosing a lawyer. Please note, this is not legal advice, and we are not legal experts. We are just passing on some questions that we think will help you to choose the right lawyer for your Atlanta business. I
Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Small Business Lawyer In Atlanta
1. What Is Your Experience In My Industry?
You definitely want to ask this question first. You want to make sure that your lawyer knows your industry and the potential pitfalls that can come up. The more experience that he or she has in your industry (or at least a closely related industry), the better. You may even want to ask for a couple of past clients in your industry to ask about their experience with your attorney.
2. Do You Currently Work With Any Of My Competitors?
The last thing that you want is to create a conflict of interest. You need to be able to tell your lawyer everything, but if he/she also represents your biggest competitor will you want to reveal all of your trade secrets? Always safer to ask this upfront.
3. How (And How Much) Do You Bill?
You don’t want any surprises when your bill comes. Make sure to ask them about billing increments (some lawyers don’t bill for less than an hour, others bill in 10 or 15 minute increments), fees for research, as well as if there is anything you can do on your own to cut down on any legal fees.
4. How And How Quickly Do You Communicate?
You want to find a lawyer that is available when you need them and that is OK with your favored mode of communication. If you hate to talk on the phone, don’t choose an attorney that communicates primarily on the phone. And if you see yourself having legal emergencies, make sure that your business attorney will get back to you in a timely manner. The last thing that you want to have happen is to be waiting for days to hear back from your lawyer when you have an urgent request.
5. Do You Have A Referral Network
One of the best things about a good Atlanta business lawyer is that not only do you get them, but you get their referral network as well. These can be other lawyers with specialized areas of expertise, but also other professionals like CPAs, marketing companies, payroll services, financial planners, commercial insurance agents, and pretty much any service that you can imagine needing. You will get your attorney’s connections and you can usually trust that they have vetted these people before they will be willing to refer any of them to you.
Hopefully, this has been helpful in helping you to choose the right Atlanta small business attorney (if you don’t have an attorney yet, here is a handy legal checklist for small business owners). We know that having the right information can make all the difference in choosing the right business partners.